I is for Isabella of France

Also known as: Isabella Capet; She-Wolf of France

Recognized for: Queen Consort of Edward II of England, mother of Edward III of England; leading campaign with her lover, Roger Mortimer, to depose Edward II

No sooner had the joyful newlyweds (Isabella & Edward II) arrived in England that her husband went out and gave Piers Gaveston a bunch of jewels that he received as part of Isabella’s dowry, and told him how much better he was than his annoying wife. This was a serious slap in the face to the young Queen, but insult was soon added to injury, and before long Gaveston actually held a higher position of honor in the King’s court than that of Queen Isabella.

Isabella left England for France in 1325, and the next year she and her lover, Roger Mortimer, helped with efforts to invade England and depose Edward. Mortimer and Isabella had Edward II murdered in 1327, and Edward III was crowned king of England, with Isabella and Mortimer as his regents.

In 1330, Edward III decided to assert his own rule, escaping likely death. He executed Mortimer as a traitor and banished Isabella, forcing her to retire as a Poor Clare for more than a quarter century until her death. Isabella lived under house arrest in her lavish resort of a castle for twenty-seven more years.


Uppity Women of Ancient Times by Vicki Leon



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